A Thanksgiving Blessing: Foggy Opening Meet Draws Record Crowd
The fog lay heavy on Hobby Field in Southern Pines as a record crowd of spectators came to see the traditional Blessing of the Hounds, which marks the beginning of foxhunting season.
Meaghan Kelly, Associate Rector of Emanuel Episcopal Church, led the blessing.
Seventeen-year old Codie Hayes took over on short notice as Huntsman for the Moore County Hounds' Opening Meet Thanksgiving morning.
Her grandfather, Jody Murtagh, who normally serves as Huntsman, was injured in a riding accident just two days prior to the event.
Hayes led a huge field of riders over a pre-laid course (called a drag hunt) for about an hour of hunting and then returned to Hobby Field, giving spectators a second chance to meet and greet hounds, horses and riders alike.
The Moore County Hounds recently welcomed two new Joint Masters. Effie Ellis and Mike Russell now join Richard Webb and Cameron Sadler as Masters.
This Thanksgiving marked the 95th Anniversary of the Moore County Hounds.
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